Tactical

Ruger 5.7 Pistol Review: Better Than the FN Five-SeveN?


There have been some marked improvements in firearms in general recently (red dots, ergonomics), and with the original FN Five-SeveN being over 20 years old, there is undoubtedly room for improvement.

Enter the Ruger 5.7…

With an updated take on the 5.7 aesthetic, we were keen to take this one out to the range to see how it would do.

We can agree manufacturer competition ultimately benefits us consumers, but does the Ruger 5.7 Pistol meet or beat the original?

Ruger 57 smoking

We took one out to the range to find out and the results may surprise you. So follow along as we tackle the specs, features, pros, and cons on our journey to see if the Ruger 5.7 is a winner…

Table of Contents

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Ruger 5.7 Pros & Cons

Pros


  • Accurate

  • Low recoil

  • Good capacity

Cons


  • Break-in period

  • Loud report

  • Expensive ammo

The Bottom Line

The Ruger 5.7 has a lot of great features that are clear improvements on the original pistol from FN. Accuracy was great though we did suffer a few malfunctions that cleared up during break-in.

660

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Ruger 5.7 Specs & Features

Specs

Action

Delayed blowback (internal hammer)

Features


Optics ready


Fiber optic sight


Chamber inspection port

Ruger 5.7 Background

Ruger released the 5.7 Pistol in late 2019, so it has been around for a few years now. In fact, Ruger went on to produce the 5.7 Carbine using the same magazines.

Ruger LC Carbine
Ruger LC Carbine

The Connecticut-based firearms giant was one of the first companies to come up with an alternative to FN’s original design for a 5.7x28mm chambered pistol.

With the advantage of time, they were able to add some modern features.

Who Is It For?

The 5.7 cartridge is interesting in and of itself, so this may drive customers to this pistol. There are benefits and drawbacks to any firearm chambered in 5.7.

Ruger 57 Federal

The rounds are smaller, though longer, and run at much higher velocities. This makes the grip wider (from the front strap to the backstrap), but the recoil impulse is very soft.

Anyone wanting a flat shooting and accurate firearm may want to check out the Ruger 5.7, particularly if you own the 5.7 Carbine.

Fit & Feel

Overall the Ruger 5.7 is a bigger gun but deceptively light for its size. As noted above, the grip has to be a bit wider (front to back), but it is still thin at about 1 inch wide.

Ruger 57 grip right

The grip angle is fairly straight but comfortably so and is complete with an adequate beaver tail to cover the web of even big hands.

Smaller hands may struggle a bit with a good grip or reaching the controls.

As far as texture goes, it is fairly light, though sandpaper in nature, and provides enough traction for the light recoil. Ruger included a tiny bit of beveling on the inside lip of the mag well but reloads need to be pretty straight on.

Ruger 57 trigger

An undercut is evident in the trigger guard, and the guard itself has ample room, even for gloved fingers. The trigger is a polymer and includes a safety bar that presses flat with the surface of the lightly curved trigger.

Pulling back, the shoe moves a few millimeters back in pre-travel before hitting a defined wall. It then travels a bit further before a fairly crisp break.

Ruger 57 recoil left

This measured a fairly light average of 2 pounds, 13 ounces on a Lyman Digital Gauge. Reset occurred most of the distance back, was soft, and barely audible.

Sights on the Ruger 5.7 are well done, with a bright, green fiberoptic up front. The rear consists of a serrated black that is adjustable. Both have metal housings.

Ruger 57 glamour left

Ruger milled serrations in the front and rear of the slide work very well. Plus, they included a cutout along the top behind the front sight, likely for lightening.

The optics system feels like an afterthought at first, but when you consider the extremely low bore axis of the 5.7, there simply wasn’t a lot of room for milling.

Ruger 57 ARO

Two holes are drilled into the top of the slide forward of the rear sight. To this, you mount an optic plate, which is sold separately. You then mount your sight to the appropriate plate.

The overall setup is a little tall but works well. The irons are way too low to be co-witnessed with the ARO I mounted from AT3 Tactical.

Ruger 57 load mags

Magazines are steel and hold 20 rounds each. They include a polymer floor plate that creates a nice grab point should you have a malfunction.

The magazines inserted easily, locked up smoothly, and dropped clearly when I pressed the mag release.

Loading has more in common with rifle rounds, though, where you push the rounds straight down instead of hooking the rear and sliding back.

How Does It Shoot?

Combining the long sight radius, 5-inch barrel, and decent trigger, the Ruger 5.7 is accurate. By the time I shot my third 5-shot group, they were all bunched up at just over a half-inch from 7 yards.

Ruger 57 accuracy

In addition, the 5.7 round is fun for pushing distance accuracy. I lined up at 50 and then 100 yards and was able to ping torso-sized steel within a few shots.

The super light recoil is a joy to work with. Similar to a .22, the Ruger 5.7 shoots pretty flat, and you can easily ride the dot through recoil while shooting quickly.

Ruger 57 100 yards

It’s a welcome bonus that the magazine capacity is so high because you can find yourself running through rounds at a rapid pace. I very much appreciated the inclusion of two magazines for this reason.

Reliability had a few setbacks in the first 200 rounds. There were multiple failures to feed and at least one failure to extract, approximately six malfunctions in total.

Ruger 57 malfunction

These were typically the type of malfunction that couldn’t be cured with an immediate action drill but required locking the slide back and sorting it out. After the 200-round mark, I fired another 100 rounds and did not have further issues.

During this period, I broke the gun down, cleaned, and lubricated it liberally. It is worth noting I only had Federal American Eagle 40-grain ammunition to test with.

Ruger 57 boom

After these issues were bypassed, the Ruger 5.7 remained a joy to shoot though controls might be a challenge for the smaller-handed.

Our test model came with a 1911-style safety, and this was easy to reach on both sides.

The slide lock/release was reachable, though very stiff. Even with my 2X hands, I had to adjust my grip to reach the magazine release.

What Sets it Apart?

Ruger had a great opportunity to improve upon a 20-year-old platform, and they did a good job. Compared to the FN Five-SeveN, the Ruger seems to have better ergonomics, is optics capable, and is significantly cheaper.

Ruger LC Carbine and pistol
Ruger LC Carbine and pistol

Another benefit to those who are fans of the 5.7 round is the fact Ruger used the same magazine to feed their 5.7 Carbine.

Ruger 5.7 By the Numbers

Once I was dialed in, my best group was just over a half inch at seven yards.

Roughly six malfunctions occurred that cleared up after 200 rounds. Another 100 rounds without malfunction followed.

Ruger has a few accessories on their website listed for the 5.7 such as floor plates, extra magazines, lights, lasers, grips, and more. But I was happy to see other companies like F5 Manufacturing and Galloway Precision making specific upgrades for these guns.

While I mention the ergonomics are improved, there are still challenges due to the size of the 5.7 round. Smaller hands will face a few more challenges.

It’s tough if you want to get into 5.7 because the ammo is pricy and so is the cost of entry. The Ruger 5.7 is going for $600-$700 at the time of this writing.

660

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Final Verdict

I was a little surprised at the feeding issues because I reviewed the Ruger Carbine first and had zero problems. Granted, that is a different platform but feeds from the same magazines.

In spite of this, we seemed to shoot through the issues and come out stable on the other side.

Ruger 57 shoot right

Ammo still costs quite a bit more than 9mm by comparison, but the benefits of 5.7x28mm are worthy of consideration in spite of that. Ruger has done a good job of updating this platform while adding modern features.

Bottom line, the Ruger 5.7 is very accurate, easy to shoot, and a lot of fun.

If you’re in the market for a 5.7 pistol, Ruger has a great option for you.

Will you be picking up a Ruger 5.7? Let us know in the comments below. For more 5.7 action, check out our recommendations for the Best 5.7x28mm Guns and Ammo.

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